JournalismPakistan.com July 15, 2014
Have you noticed how when wives say 'I don't want to upset you' to their husbands that is precisely what they intend to do.
I don't want to upset you, says my wife, but I have something to say.
Go ahead, I say, I won't be upset.
You have become boring, says my wife. Really boring, sort of dull and old like your swash has buckled, you used to be fun, you used to be a swinger, now you just sit and sog at parties like a poached egg.
That I say, with as much dignity as a man can muster when he is being railed on his own home and hearth (and without warning), is very uncharitable.
Nothing to do with charity, she says, sailing on like a Spanish galleon, you have become dreary, look at you yesterday at the dinner, sitting there talking in..in..in..what are those single sounding words?
Monosyllables, I say, always ready to lend a hand, even when I am the target.
Yes, that, she says, there was a time you charmed the ladies, what's happened to your joi de vivre, your pizzazz, you have nothing to say, you just eat dinner and say, let's go, let's go.
Well, it was midnight , I say, I have to work next day. So does everyone, she says, but they have fun, we never have fun, we are middle-aged and routine-bound and you are becoming a stuffy, old drip.
Have you noticed how when they want to twist the stiletto they always make comparisons. Look at so and so, he's so alive and full of energy.
It was a dinner not a ruddy marathon.
Don't raise your voice, if you can't take criticism, fine, I'll stop.
I am 65, I say, I can't dash about like a giddy teenager.
I refuse to continue this discussion, she says, if you cannot discuss things reasonably I have nothing more to say.
So last evening we are out to dinner and in the middle of the affair my wife comes up to me and smiles thinly and says hiss, hiss, listen to me what on earth do you think you are up to, for heaven’s sake stop being so juvenile, everyone is watching you.
I am having fun, I say, my get up and go is getting up and going, I am just relating my off color jokes to these lovely ladies here and after that I am going to read their hands and tell their fortunes, oh, no, not dinner so soon, let's have fun, it's not even midnight.
Your husband is so full of beans says a lady to my wife, you must find him very stimulating.
Yes, says my wife pursing her lips, very.
Is he always like this, she continues, centre stage and full of pep, just look at him, he's a scream.
I am looking, I am looking, says my wife.
Is he like this at home also, asks another lady, life must be so exciting, the man's a riot, he's unstoppable.
As soon as dinner is over she says, we are leaving.
Now, I say, so soon, but please, I am just going to learn how to do the Lungi dance, all the way.
Now. We are going.
But I want to do the Lungi dance, not right now, we are having fun, stop her folks, the evening is young, I am young, let's get into the mood.
Finally, we are tumbling into the car and I am saying, that was a great party, what fun.
Don't talk to me, she says, don't even try to speak to me, stay on your side of the car, I have never been more embarrassed in my life, why do you have to make a fool of yourself, at your age, look at you, behaving like a teen at a prom, why can't you be like other husbands, all mature and adult and sophisticated.
See what I mean? Sometimes, you just can't win.
(The writer is a Senior Editorial Advisor of Khaleej Times and the paper’s former Editor. He has also been the Editor of Gulf News, Gulf Today, Emirates Today and Bahrain Tribune)
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